My colleague Jason McCann and I have taught together at Arkansas Governor’s School for three years. We joke about how the six weeks can be like a mini-residency for us because as full-time teachers, it’s hard to get the studio time we really want. This past session, we both had upcoming shows, so we worked on opposite walls and had a blast. My show will be in Trinity Gallery at the Historic Arkansas Museum as part of November’s 2nd Friday Art Night. See next post. Here are the pastels I did this past summer.
I will have a drawing in the Small Works on Paper 2016 traveling exhibition sponsored by the Arkansas Arts Council. Yay! I really like this show and I’m happy to be part of it again. I also like that the drawing will be one I made while teaching at Arkansas Governor’s School. This summer, my co-teacher, artist Jason McCann, and I explained to the young ladies (we had all females!) that they should view the six week program as a kind of artist residency. So, it’s only fitting that both myself and Jason got work that we made while working with the students during our many hours of studio time got into this show!
I haven’t updated the site in a very long time. Here are images of work I completed either right before Arkansas Governor’s School started up or during my time teaching there. Two of the War Queens and a mixed-media collage were shown in a local exhibition called Zeitgeist at Gallery 221 this summer. The collage sold from the window, like a little puppy dog in a pet shop. The War Queens are silkscreen monotypes drawn in caran d’ache. I think I posted a demo for this technique years ago. Mariah Johnson taught it to me. The text pieces were made with stencils and powdered charcoal. “Don’t Forget Lovely Life” is printed on an apron Mark and I bought from a Korean market. It’s a family motto. The second one was made for our nursery. Carl Sagan is one of our heroes. What a beautiful quote for baby to grow up on.
About seven years ago, I corresponded with a man named Peter Kwee living in England. I was doing research for my thesis. I now know how common the name Kwee is around the world. I wanted to post it because it’s a nice short family history.
Kwee Thiam Kiet married Tan Liang Dhauw. They had two children, Aunt Reis (we called her Koko, I need to ask about her Chinese name) and my Opa, Kwee Ting Bo (later Ibraham Basoeki Enggano). Tan Liang Dhauw died when my Opa was very young. His father, Kwee Thiam Kiet, remarried Tan Liang Dhauw’s sister. They had one child, a son. My mom called him Om Tjiang. My understanding is that around 1967, my Opa’s siblings changed their last names to “Kresno” while he adopted “Enggano” from Pulau Enggano.
My Oma was an only child (born in 1932). Her father’s name was Tan Ping Gwan and her mother’s name was Oh Dien No. Her Chinese name is Tan Giok Lian, but it was changed to Lani Sara Enggano. My grandparents have three children: Kwee Hong Liat (Ishak Lukas Enggano), Kwee Sui Ing (my mother, Ingga Ruth Enggano, born in 1954), and Kwee Hong Yauw (Andreas Jaahj Enggano).
I’d like to stay in contact with you and your brother.
I have to recommend this book to anyone interested in making housekeeping, home, and interior spaces artful.
“Home Comforts: The Art & Science of Keeping House” Cheryl Mendelson, 1999, New York, NY, Scribner. But, you have to read it at the same time as “The Poetics of Space: The Classic Look at How We Experience Intimate Places” Gaston Bachelard, Beacon Press, 1994. My good friend Mariah Johnson gave me these two books together as a parting gift when she graduated. They inspired Kimberly Interiors and Homework.
Sometime in the year following graduate school, I came up with a project I called Homework. My thought was to relate my domestic life, including my social relationships, to my art practice. I had moved all my materials and my sewing machines to my apartment and I found I was spending a lot of time cooking and arranging the stuff in my home. I struggled with depression in that year as I hardly made any work. At one point, I wrote in my sketchbook, “I am working all the time. When I forget this, I really do stop working and then, I am lost.” So I had to be an artist all the time and that meant changing the form and scope of my practice. A few more events came together which led to Homework. Most of my friends who made art started moving away the summer after graduation. This was the summer that I believed most strongly in the idea of Homework, but I wasn’t really making anything.
A few significant things happened (significant may be an overstatement). One, I traded a measuring tape in the shape of a ship to a metals artist named Carrie for a mini measuring tape that read “Kimberly Interiors.” Voila! Two, my friend Masako took a teaching appointment in Ohio. She needed help getting her moving truck and her car to her new home. Kristi Rae, also an artist from the U of I MFA program, and I agreed to drive the truck for her. We both thought of the trip as more than a favor. It was a gesture that I couldn’t articulate at the time, but I knew it was an opportunity to put into practice this idea of being an artist all the time. That weekend, I made short videos of Masako trying to remember how to fold a kimono. I took note of the fact that she desperately needed warm, soft light in her new apartment. Just a few months before, I had been making lamps for an installation and was toying with the idea of placing them in people’s homes. I promised Masako a lamp. It took a long time for me to make good on that promise, but this was probably the first gesture that fell under Homework. A narrower focus for the project was defined by actually placing something in person’s home. I had to love the person, of course.
I placed two more lamps that summer. Two very close friends, who happen to be married, found jobs in different cities. They began a process of dividing their home and their lives into two separate and new spaces. Karin, also an artist, was teaching in St. Louis and asked me to help her set-up her new apartment. I made a lamp for her husband Jimi, who happened to be my upstairs neighbor. We discussed more lamps and pillows with speakers sewn inside that played breathing noises. I was very close to them that summer. That seems to be what Kimberly Interiors does.
So, if you are lonely and in need of lamplight, consider inviting Kimberly Interiors into your home.
This is an artist statement once used by an artist I greatly admire. Bonnie Fortune was in a critique group with me my last year at U of I.
Artist Statement for Bonnie Fortune:
I am an interdisciplinary artist and researcher who uses her practice to create social experience and change. My work privileges the immediate, the public, and the affective, in its presentation and visualization. I develop my projects in long-term collaborations; exploring a subject through writing, research, and the time arts-performance, video, digital photography, and web-based projects. I study, and am inspired by, the intersections of art and activism-specifically radical feminist, health, and environmental histories. Cultural memory and repeated iconographic imagery become tools in my art practice to create and explore the possibility for transformation-personal emotional shifts and larger cultural shifts. I still believe the personal is political.
I am updating my artist statement. This is something I think describes very well what I did with shag carpeting and hideous lamps in grad school:
In these carefully created interior scenes, cultural moments converge. Unspoken regrets, altered realities, and forgotten promises are dredged up.